Bus Riders Union
1,000 More Buses, 1,000 Less Police!
Mayor Villaraigosa: More Police Is Not a Progressive Vision for L.A.
Hiring 1000 additional police officers has become a top city budget
priority under Mayor Villaraigosa. In 2008, the Mayor announced he was
halfway to keeping his campaign pledge of 1000, even as he was moving
to cut $100 million from the city budget.
1000 More Buses, 1000 Less Police calls on the Mayor to make a complete U-turn to fund social services, not criminalization.
1,000 Less Police!
Given his long history in the movement for civil rights and human rights, we know the Mayor is well aware of the way class and race intersect to create a racially based prisoners' class in L.A.:
- There are more than 2.3 million prisoners in the United States.
- Close to 1 million of the prisoners are Black, more than 500,000 are Latino, and virtually all of them poor.
- The L.A. region has the highest arrest rate in the country.
1,000 more police will only expand and intensify these systemic civil and human rights violations. They will not make our communities safer or healthier.
And yet Mayor Villaraigosa's actions and policies have also included lobbying in Washington, DC and Sacramento to support more funding to suppress gangs, imposing harsher sentences for Latino and Black youth by labeling many "gang members." He has stayed silent as the local police have expanded into immigration enforcement using "Tough On Gangs" initiatives. In Los Angeles, the Mayor has supported legislation to restrict civil liberties through gang injunctions, and he has supported the LAPD anti-homeless "Safer City" initiatives.
1,000 More Buses, 10,000 More Housing Units, 1,000 More Parks, and 1,000 After School Programs!
A reconstructed social-safety net, more jobs, and more educational and recreational opportunities-these are the foundations for safe and healthy communities. Not more police. Not more "enforcement," or "suppression." Not more prisons.
We know the Mayor does advocate some progressive policies and has taken some good stands on some issues. But expanding the police/prison state is not the only step he is taking to endanger the social welfare state. He is plowing ahead with a disastrous rail construction agenda; he has spearheaded the lifting of tunneling restrictions to expand subway construction, and has secured funding for highway and rail construction lobby with Proposition 1B. He's even personally passed out flyers to Westside commuters urging expansion of the 405 freeway, while UN climate change experts calls for the reduction of greenhouse gases. He has been silent or has not opposed some critical issues facing our communities from the cut backs on King Drew Hospital to the seizing of the South Central Farm.
As a person whose roots are in the Latino and multiracial labor and social movement, we ask him to make a major U-turn and reverse his increasingly conservative policies. We expect proposals from the Mayor's office that call for the massive expansion of social services.
Mayor Villaragiosa, we expect you to be an ally to stop the attacks on youth, the homeless, immigrants and the environment, not to expand them!